"Betting the Chalk"

Posted by Bruce Kahl on April 19, 2000

In Reply to: "Betting the Chalk" posted by Frankie on April 18, 2000

: What does "Betting the chalk"...(or something alongs those lines)mean. Someone said it had something to do with betting the favorites...but why chalk?

Chalk - When a horse is the favorite -- or has the most money bet on it -- that horse is termed the "chalk." Interestingly, this term comes from the pre-computer era of the bookie. When a bookie recorded bets on a blackboard, the odds would change over and over as more and more people bet on the favorite. The horse became known as the "chalk" because the horse's name would disappear in chalk dust as the bookie constantly erased and lowered the horse's odds.